Coronary Artery Disease is caused by the buildup of plaque in the walls of the coronary arteries. The buildup of this waxy substance happens over the course of many
years and blocks the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart and other parts of the body. Plaque can harden or rupture (break open). If ruptured,
Angina (chest pain or discomfort) or heart attacks can occur. This may lead to heart failure, a serious condition where the heart can't pump blood the way that it
should. An irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia, also can develop.
- Age - the increase in age raises the risk of having narrowed or damaged arteries
- Sex - men are at greater risk of CAD. Women are of greater risk once they reach menopause
- Family history - family history, especially close relatives, is associated with a higher risk of having coronary artery disease, developed heart disease at an early age
- Smoking - smokers have a significantly increased risk
- High blood pressure - high blood pressure causes the hardening of arteries
- High blood cholesterol level - high cholesterol carries the risk of the formation and buildup of plaque
- Overweight or obesity - excess weight worsens other risk factors
- Stress - unrelieved stress in your life worsens other risk factors related to CAD
- Type II Diabetes or insulin resistance - heart disease risk is two to four times higher
- Physical inactivity - heart disease is almost twice as likely to develop in inactive individuals.